Tag: Matrix

By on May 31, 2011

No, this is not another installment of Steve Lang’s “Lease, Rent, Sell or Keep?” series. Wards Auto is reporting that Toyota facing a decision over whether to kill its Matrix hatchback when a new version of the Corolla on which it is based debuts sometime “before 2013.” Toyota’s Bob Carter tells Wards that

There’s no change right now on the car, (but) we haven’t made the decision yet

So, what to do? Toyota doesn’t break sales of the Matrix out from the Corolla, but according to Wards:

The hatchback reached its pinnacle in 2002, selling 66,836 units, Ward’s data shows.

Annual deliveries have declined since then, except for 2008, the second-generation model’s first full year.

However, Matrix volume plunged 47.3% to 26,121 in 2009, from 2008’s 49,567, and last year slid 44.5%, with only 14,492 deliveries.

Toyota’s Carter insists that the forthcoming “Prius C” compact hatch “attracts a different type of buyer,”  an argument he’d probably also apply to the Scion xB, another Corolla-based hatchback. So, should Toyota develop a new Matrix along the lines of its predecessors in hopes that the third iteration brings back some magic to the nameplate? Or, would a re-styled xB make a better Toyota than Scion, opening up Scion’s lineup for a version of the Verso-S? Or perhaps Toyota could offer its European Auris as a Hyundai Elantra Touring-style contrast to the very American Corolla. Or, Toyota could look to the Verso for a larger, more utilitarian alternative to a traditional Matrix.

In any case, with so many possible options, it’s no wonder Toyota hasn’t made a decision yet…

By on March 18, 2010

Toyota is a customer centric company. It now considers a recall that will please the vociferous crowd that thinks something is wrong with Toyota’s engine computer. Reuters reports that Toyota is discussing with NHTSA whether and how they should fix nearly 1.2 million Corolla and Matrix models. They are at risk of unintended stoppage. They might stall out because of flaws in their computer. (Read More…)

By on December 7, 2009

Things fall apart/ the center can not hold
I was watching the classic British gangster film “The Long Good Friday” the other day. For those not in the know, it’s a story about how Harold Shand, the kingpin gangster of London, struggles to keep his grip in the London underworld when the IRA try to muscle in on his patch. I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice to say, it isn’t pretty. Shortly after watching the film, I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal detailing yet another Toyota quality problem. From Floormatgate to the 110,000 Tundras which allegedly rust prematurely, to this most recent headline, “Corolla and Matrix face U.S safety probe,” there’s clearly something rotten in Toyota City. Much like the aforementioned Harold Shand, Toyota built an empire on the foundation of quality and reliability, but now, subsidence and rot are affecting that foundation. The question for the Best and Brightest is this: Are Toyota in danger of losing their crown of quality and reliability in the minds of consumers? Or are these recent cases statistical outliers that car buyers take for granted?

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